Russian forces have reportedly destroyed two German-made Leopard tanks in the Kupyansk region, as per a report released by Russia’s Defense Ministry. The ministry stated that the country’s “Western” military group attacked Ukrainian forces near several settlements. The targeted settlements include Artemovka in Russia’s Lugansk People’s Republic, and Sinkovka, Berestovoe, and Ivanovka in Ukraine’s Kharkov Region. The report further claimed that as a result of the attacks, the Ukrainian forces lost 20 servicemen, two Leopard tanks, and three other vehicles.
Footage obtained by RT allegedly shows the destruction of the German tanks. According to the commander of the brigade responsible for destroying the tanks and providing the video, the vehicles were discovered at night and destroyed at 8 am using Lancet UAVs.
In addition to the destruction of the Leopard tanks, Russia’s Defense Ministry also reported that its Southern Group of forces repelled four Ukrainian attacks in the Donetsk People’s Republic near the settlements of Vodyanoye and Maryinka. The ministry stated that approximately 200 Ukrainian servicemen were killed or wounded in these attacks, along with the destruction of two infantry fighting vehicles and three cars.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that Ukraine has been rejecting some deliveries of Leopard tanks from its Western partners. According to Der Spiegel, a German news outlet, Kiev refused to accept a batch of 10 Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks. The Ukrainian government argued that the tanks were in need of extensive repair and maintenance work, requiring special parts and technical expertise that Kiev does not possess.
This recent incident follows Denmark’s confirmation that it had been using tanks from museum exhibits to train Ukrainian crews on how to operate them. In February, Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark pledged to deliver more than 100 Leopard tanks to Ukraine. However, a report from Die Welt in August revealed that only 10% of the promised tanks had been delivered thus far. After the rejection of the tank delivery, Germany reportedly sent a team of specialists to Poland, where the tanks were scheduled to enter Ukraine. These specialists concluded that the Leopards were already worn out after the training of Ukrainian soldiers in Germany and were in need of repairs.
The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has seen continued tensions and military clashes in the region. The destruction of the Leopard tanks underscores the intensification of the conflict and the utilization of advanced military technology by both sides. It remains to be seen how the situation will develop further and whether there will be any diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the conflict.